ACTION ALERTS: Big Agenda for Bend City Council This Wednesday

Support Funding the Core Area Plan

The vision for a vibrant, sustainable mixed-use neighborhood in the Bend Central District with safe east & west connections depends on the Core Area Plan to be funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). On August 5th, Bend City Council will vote to create an urban renewal area so that they may use TIF to provide funding for projects including transportation and affordable housing.

Tell the City why you support the Core Area TIF Plan! Email Matt Stuart, City of Bend Urban Renewal Manager, at . Suggested talking points can be found here from Central Oregon Landwatch.

Making Investments in Bend’s Transportation System:
Tell the Council to Let Voters Decide in November

Last Spring, Bend was poised to vote on a bond measure to invest $190 million in their transportation system.  But in the chaos of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council decided to postpone the vote and pulled the measure from the May ballot.

Now, the Council is actively considering placing the bond measure before voters on this November’s ballot.  It’s the same package of needed investments in improving safety, traffic flow, walking, biking, and transit, and the same amount of investment, $190 million, as the original proposal from last winter.  The bond measure reflects the hard work that The Environmental Center and many others have put into drafting Bend’s new transportation system plan—but we can’t make that plan a reality without additional funds.  We simply have too much catch up work to do, especially on safety improvements and walking and biking infrastructure.

That’s why The Environmental Center supports placing the ballot measure before voters in November.  We know that despite the pandemic, we still need to make these investments—they are essential to preserving and enhancing quality of life and sustainability as we continue to grow.

We are also sensitive to today’s challenging economy.  So we are joining with the Chamber of Commerce and others in asking the Council to ensure that property owners will not see an increase in their taxes until fall of 2022. That will give our economy time to recover and unemployment time to improve.

This Wednesday, the Council will decide whether to place the ballot measure before Bend’s voters.

If you agree with us that Bend needs these investments and that voters should be able to decide if now is the right time, please let the Bend City Council know ASAP.

Get involved with Bend’s climate future

The City of Bend is actively recruiting nine positions for the Environment and Climate Committee (ECC) until July 31, 2020.

During the June 17th, 2020 City Council meeting, Bend City Council voted to establish the Environment and Climate Committee. The committee’s primary focus is to provide input and recommendations to the City Council on topics related to environmental stewardship and to oversee implementation of the Community Climate Action Plan, adopted in December 2019.

This committee is a big deal! The ECC will help the City of Bend establish direction and implement sustainability goals and will help shape the future livability of our community. 

Committee expertise

The City is seeking individuals who have experience or expertise, professional or lived, in the following or other related subject matters: energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy efficient building, environmental justice, equity in environmental stewardship and sustainability, alternative transportation and mobility, energy policy, environmental policy, forestry, water resources, ecology, other life sciences, carbon emission reduction, and other related areas. They seek inclusive membership of diverse and varied perspectives and experiences.

This committee will help fulfill current and future Council goals and projects related to environmental stewardship, and provide a resource to Council when relevant community issues arise. The ECC will:

  • Develop recommendations and build partnerships to advance implementation of the Community Climate Action Plan;
  • Provide input in the City’s review and development of plans, ordinances, actions, and policies as relevant
  • Provide advisory input to the City Council during Council goal setting and budgeting processes; and
  • Provide input on adopted Council goals as they relate to natural resources and the environment.

Commitment

This will be a permanent City committee just like the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) or the Affordable Housing Committee, among others. Nine members will be appointed to the Environment and Climate Committee with initial terms being two or four years so that the committee doesn’t replace all of its members at once. Subsequent terms will be four years. 

Committee members will be expected to actively participate in monthly meetings, generally 1.5 – 2 hours. Committee members will determine the regular schedule that works best for the members.

Application

The Advisory Committee application is available at bendoregon.gov/committees. Applications are accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020. 

For questions on serving on the Environment and Climate Committee, please contact Cassie Lacy at 541-323-8587 or .  

Information about the committee is available at bendoregon.gov/sustainability.

Action Alerts: Speak with local leaders this week

1. Bend’s New Transportation Plan Enters Final Stretch

 Let local leaders know you support it.

After two years of hard work, Bend’s Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) recently held their final meeting. A big thank you to all 21 CTAC members—including our very own Mike Riley, one of the co-chairs, and Board Member Glenn Van Cise—for their hard work and commitment to creating a better transportation future in Bend!

Background
CTAC’s charge was to develop a new Transportation System Plan (TSP) to guide Bend’s transportation investments, programs, and policies through 2040. The draft TSP, which now has CTAC’s stamp of approval, calls for real changes to Bend’s transportation system. Here are a few examples:

  • The new TSP calls for a significant increase in investments in safe and convenient bike paths, sidewalks, transit service and roads.  
  • It ensures no new five-lane roads will create barriers through our neighborhoods. 
  • It calls for large employers to manage the demand their employees put on our roads.
  • It will reduce the amount of driving the average Bend resident has to do on a daily basis.  
  • And it includes a list of right-sized investments that won’t burden taxpayers with unnecessary, expensive megaprojects.

CTAC’s most recent task was to develop transportation performance measures and targets (Chapter 7 of the TSP).  The targets approved by CTAC will ensure that the TSP delivers real outcomes beneficial to all of Bend’s residents:

  • A new transportation equity program
  • Double the percentage of trips taken by walking, biking, and riding transit
  • Build 12 new key routes for safe walking and biking across town by 2030
  • A pedestrian network master plan
  • No increase in vehicle miles traveled per capita
  • No deaths and a 50% reduction in serious injuries on our roadways
  • A new speed monitoring program
  • A 29% reduction ins greenhouse gas emissions from transportation

It takes thoughtful planning to create a city that is walkable, bikeable and vibrant. It won’t happen overnight. But if we implement the new TSP developed by CTAC, traveling around Bend will be less carbon-intensive and a more safe, equitable, and convenient experience by 2040.

CTAC’s final action was to forward all chapters of the City’s new TSP to the Transportation Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is comprised of City Council plus one Bend Planning Commissioner, one Deschutes County Commissioner, and one ODOT representative. It is up to them to approve the draft TSP so it can be formally adopted by the City Council later this summer.  

What You Can Do

The Steering Committee’s final meeting is this Thursday, June 18, from 1-4pm and will be held remotely (online).

Tell the Steering Committee that you support all of CTAC’s recommendations, including the Chapter 7 performance targets, and that the Steering Committee should adopt the draft TSP as proposed.

They are only taking email comments. Emails must be received by by 10am on Thursday, June 18. 

2. Bend City Council to Establish a New Environment and Climate Advisory Committee

Let them know you support it.

The Bend City Council is considering creation of a new Environment and Climate Committee. The committee’s focus will be to provide input and recommendations to the City Council related to environmental stewardship and to oversee implementation of the Community Climate Action Plan, adopted in December 2019.

Bend has long had permanent citizen committees that advise the council on economic development, affordable housing, accessibility, its budget, and more. But this is the first time such a committee has been established to address what we consider to be a pillar of Bend—our natural resources. We think it’s long overdue and are thrilled to see this moving forward.  

What You Can Do

If you agree that this committee is good for Bend, let the City Council know. The Council will hold the first reading and a hearing on the proposed ordinance to establish the committee (see item 10 on the agenda) at its regular meeting this coming Wednesday, June 17, at 7pm. Send them an email at , or phone lines for public comment open at 6:45 pm at 1-855-282-6330, Access code: 146 187 2633##.  (But keep in mind if you call in, you may have to wait a long time—COVID is making live public comment challenging. Email may be more convenient.)

3. Police Reform in Bend?

City Council to discuss this on Wednesday, June 17th. 

Like many in our community, we are outraged at the ongoing murder of unarmed Black Americans by local police. The deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and now Rayshard Brooks—and so many before them—have laid bare that systemic racism persists in our nation and that there is much work to do to ensure justice for Black Americans and other people of color.

We need to do that work in every community in America, no matter the track record of our local police. This week, the Bend City Council will be discussing—we assume with a representative of Bend’s police department in the room—what steps could be taken to ensure that all Bend residents experience fair and non-violent treatment by local police.

What You Can Do

We encourage you to listen to the work session this Wednesday at 5:30. Work sessions are for learning and discussing, not decisions, but you can also share your thoughts on the topic with the Council later during the visitors section of its regular meeting at 7 pm. Phone lines for public comment open at 6:45 at 1-855-282-6330 Access code: 146 187 2633##.  (Keep in mind if you call in you may have to wait a long time—COVID is making live public comment challenging. Email may be more convenient, at .)

Sustainability Series at Ridgeview & Redmond High

Each trimester, The Environmental Center Youth Educators present our Sustainability Series to Health 2 classes at Ridgeview and Redmond High Schools. We have a wonderful collaboration with Coaches Millington, Pileggi, and Capps to bring environmental health into the classroom. Interacting with high schoolers about the environment and how it relates to health class is always refreshing and our conversations are invigorating. 

“The Environmental Center educators are true rockstars and very passionate about our environment. They’ve visited us in our classroom for many years now and enlighten us time and time again.” – RVHS/RHS Health Educators

The series focuses on the relationship between personal health and the environment. Students examine their lifestyle choices and how their actions impact the planet’s resources. Students also calculate and interpret their personal eco-footprints.

Due to at-home learning protocols, our youth educators teamed up with RVHS/RHS Health 2 teachers to collaborate and create a virtual program and presentation for their Environmental Health unit. The unit is a combination of short presentation slides, video content, readings and responses, and individual impact mapping with personal goal setting- all related to mapping one’s impact on the environment.

Students examined photos (below) and reflected on common themes.

Here were some responses:

  • The obvious theme between the images is abuse to our ecosystem and encouragement to improve the conditions of which we interact with nature. It is also an advertisement for finding renewable resources and working to use eco-friendly products. Also, to quit supporting agro-industrialization.
  • They are all pictures of bad things that have happened or are happening to our planet and environment. These images are all pictures of ways humans have negatively impacted our planet.
  • They are all examples of worsening environmental problems caused by humans
  • They all show the use and abuse of nature we as humans have done and inadvertently participated in. A theme of destruction is shown.

The question was then posed: “What does sustainability mean to you?” This term is often difficult to truly define and consider. Can we be sustainable? Can we practice sustainability? Is it a specific way to be? These high schoolers had some incredible thoughts and responses to the question. After combining the terms and definitions used to define “sustainability” here’s what we heard:

When considering the working definition of sustainability: “Meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the future generations ability to meet their needs,” students then explored their personal eco-footprint to find out their personal impact on the environment, and ultimately, if they are practicing sustainability. 

Using an online tool, (footprintcalculator.org) students calculated their personal impact on the environment based on their daily actions and habits. The calculator reveals a specific number for your personal eco-footprint in the range from 1-10, which determines how many more planet Earths we would need if everyone on the planet, all 8 billion people, lived like you. (Scoring lower means your impact is lighter.) Scores vary, of course, and as you see below, the most popular result was the 3-4 range. The average high school student’s lifestyle would require 3 or 4 more Earths to make up for the amount of resource consumption, including land, water, and energy, required to live this way. 

The scores tell you even more details about your lifestyle. Including your highest area of consumption between 5 different categories. Results here:

Food and mobility are typically the biggest areas of consumption for teenagers, as they are beginning to have their own jobs and transport themselves to and from school/jobs/activities. “Food” entails the types of foods purchased and what you typically consume. (Fast food vs whole foods, plant based diet or meat-heavy diet, single use packaged foods or foods with reusable or no packaging). “Mobility” includes the type of vehicle you get around in, miles driven per day, and how many trips you take individually vs carpooling.

Once students figured out their eco-footprint results and dived into some of the data and details, they were asked to brainstorm 5 ways to reduce their eco-footprints. Students came up with fabulous ideas that we wanted to share. Although the ideas seem obvious, and maybe you’ve heard them before, we wanted to highlight how many times certain ideas were brought up, and how specific actions (whether it’s increasing your local purchases or decreasing the miles you drive) can truly add up to create a more sustainable town, community, and ultimately, environment for everyone.

Students were passionate about alternative commuting (when possible) such as carpooling, public transportation, and walking/biking to your destination. Another popular idea was shopping smarter, which includes buying in bulk when possible (to reduce single use plastics), buying locally to reduce transportation impacts from products being shipped and delivered, and for health reasons such as eating foods that were grown nearby. Energy consumption shows up as well, which includes turning off electronics when not in use, switching off lights, and decreasing overall electronic usage time.

A major takeaway for our education department was the amount of times students mentioned recycling. Less than three students included “recycling” in their list of 5 ways to decrease their eco-footprint. Although we will always support recycling, there is something to be said about first decreasing the amount of products you purchase, which then become waste, in the first place. How can you reduce and reuse things before you even think about recycling? It’s a challenge, but a great one to consider! 

We are always thrilled to work with high school students who are the next generation to truly see the impacts of climate change. Understanding how actions really do play a part in the health of our planet is just the first step. Putting these actions into play is where sustainability comes in. 

We want to highlight that this work isn’t just for high schoolers, folks! You have your own eco-footprint as well. Visit this site to find out your individual impact on the planet

Taking a look at your daily impact is sometimes overwhelming, so we recommend picking one category to start with, and making small, feasible changes from there. We would love to hear about any successes you’ve had with decreasing your eco-footprint. Hopefully the ideas from the brainstorm above will empower you to think about your impact on our planet.

Welcome to your new energy efficient home

Tips for buying an energy efficient home

The home buying process is, well, a process.   It’s important to have conversations about efficiency during the homebuying process and not just after so that you can find an energy efficient home–or at least on that can be upgraded for efficiency. These simple tips can save a lot of energy further down the road.

Work with an Earth Advantage Broker or GREEN designee

Earth Advantage is a nonprofit organization based here in the NW that works to accelerate the adoption of sustainable homes. EA Brokers are green designated real estate professionals who have successfully completed in-depth training and gained comprehensive knowledge on the health, comfort, durability, and energy efficiency benefits of high performance homes in their market. They can help you discover green features; recommend home upgrades, incentives, and rebates; provide information on solar; and so much more.  You can find a list of accredited professionals here.

The National Association of REALTORS also has a GREEN designation. You can find those professionals here.

Look for key (in)efficiency features

Keep an eye out for features that might give you an indication if you have found an energy efficient home–or one that might need some improvements. (Thank you to Realtor Rick Sams for these tips from his April 2020 Power Hour presentation).

  • Age of the home: Homes built before 1992 were required by code to have less insulation. Insulation can be upgraded but it is an important distinction to be aware of.
  • Outside noise: This can be an indication that insulation and air leakage may need attention. Check windows and doors as big culprits.
  • Windows and doors: How well do the seal? Do they rattle?
  • Craftsmanship: Details in the home may be an indication of overall building quality.
  • Water heater: Make sure to take note of how old the water heater is and the make and model. You can look up the efficiency of the water heater if you can’t readily find the EnergyGuide sticker on the unit. If the water heater is electric, one of the biggest energy-saving upgrades you can make is to switch to a heat pump water heater.
  • HVAC: Is the home heated with gas or electricity and what is the efficiency of the furnace/heating system? If the heat pump is more than 10 years old or the furnace is more than 15 years old, an upgrade could save you up to 20% on heating costs. Beyond saving energy, newer systems maintain better indoor air quality. See below for more info on electrically heated homes.
  • Appliances: New appliances have more than just curb appeal, if they are Energy Star certified, they can save A LOT of energy.

Know what you can and can’t fix

This list could be a lengthy list so here is just one example (your Earth Advantage Broker will be able to help you pick out more obstacles and/or opportunities)! From an efficiency perspective, some heating systems are a lot harder to upgrade than others.  For almost all homes with electric resistance heat (baseboards or cadets), getting a more efficient heating system is going to be at the top of the efficiency to do list.

In a home that doesn’t already have ducts, a ductless heat pump is a cost-effective upgrade towards an energy efficient home. However, you will want to take note of the floor plan of the home. A segmented home can make it difficult to heat the living space with a central head. Many retrofitted homes will have a central head in the main living space then use backup heat in the bedrooms and bathrooms. This is a significant boost to efficiency but can require you to still rely heavily on inefficient backup heat in many rooms. Maybe you don’t mind a cool bedroom–that’s great! You just can’t heat some homes in their entirety with a DHP so it’s important to know what your needs are, what goals you have for the overall efficiency of your home, and recognize if it’s going to be hard or costly to put in a more efficient heating system.

Consider the energy efficient home’s solar potential

You’ll really be kicking yourself in a few years if you find out your home simply isn’t a good fit for solar. Home orientation, trees, chimneys, and roof features like dormers can limit your home’s solar potential. If you want to add solar now or later, a southern exposure is preferred, followed by east and then west-facing roofs. Depending on the size of your system, you’re going to want at least 200 sq ft of unobstructed space. You can call a local solar contractor and have them virtually look at the roof to assess its solar potential. If you’re serious about solar, or the home, you can have them come out to do a free assessment.

Find out if the home has an energy certification or an energy score

 

5 ways to save energy in your kitchen while quarantined

Don’t let social distancing get the best of your energy budget! These are some tried-and-true ways to save energy that are extra relevant while you’re quarantined at home. Whether it’s just you or your whole family, there are a lot more meals happening in our own kitchens than ever before.

1. Use your dishwasher.

We are using WAY MORE dishes at our house right now. Using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50%. This can be a heated debate in many families so if you want a bit more info, you can get a summary of a recent study in this story.

2. Scrape. Don’t pre-rinse your dishes.

Now that we’re using the dishwasher more often, let’s do it right.  Rinsing your dishes uses more water and energy—enough to really add up over the lifetime of your dishwasher. Not rinsing can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3%.  Modern dishwashers and detergents are meant to attach to the little bits of food left on the dishes to work properly.

3. Turn off the dry cycle on your dishwasher.

Now that you’re using your dishwasher, let’s take it one step further and make this action save even more energy. Turning off the dry cycle on your dishwasher alone can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 11%. We just open up the door, pull out the racks and let them air dry (after our toddler has gone to bed otherwise the clean dishes end up all over the living room floor).

4. Cook smart.

This could probably be a post all on its own, but here are a few of my personal favorites:

    • Get creative and try to use the oven for a few things while it’s on or even use the same pot! If I have managed to plan ahead, I roast veggies for tomorrow’s recipe while making dinner tonight. I love this butternut squash macaroni and cheese recipe that has you boil some veggies in the same water that you then make your pasta in.
    • Turn off the burner or the oven a few minutes early. This obviously won’t work for all recipes, but those few minutes per session really start to add up over the course of a month.
    • Only boil as much water as you need. Your habits can be as important in reducing the amount of energy used to boil water as what device you’re using to do the task. So when you’re going to make that next cup of tea, make sure you only boil enough to go in your mug.

5. Turn down your water heater.

You’re washing your hands more than you ever have in your life, making more meals in your kitchen than you ever dreamed possible (we know your dishes are going in the dishwasher, but you still have lots of other odds and ends!), and hiding away in the steamy shower to escape your kids and partners for a few minutes. All-in-all, you’re probably using a ton of hot water right now. Make sure that you’re not making your water heater work overtime with settings that are too high. 120 degrees is the recommended temperature. The higher the temperature of the water in the tank, the greater difference with the surrounding temperature, and thus, the greater the heat loss. You can Google specific instructions for your water heater. Or you can find general YouTube tutorials for electric waters here and gas water heaters here.

 

Going Solar in 2020

New pots of money mean growing opportunities for solar access

In 2020, just about everything we knew about solar incentives has been shaken up. Here’s a quick overview of what is happening on the solar coaster this year.


Oregon Solar and Solar + Storage Rebate Program

HB 2618​ (2019) created a new solar and solar plus storage rebate program at the Oregon Department of Energy which launched in 2020. The program issues rebates for solar electric systems and paired solar + storage systems for residential customers and low-income service providers in Oregon.​

There are three separate tracks for this program: residential, low-moderate income residential, and low-income service providers. See below for definitions.

Rebate Amount
  1. Residential Projects
    • Up to 40% of the net cost, capped at $5,000 for solar, and $2,500 for energy storage
  2. Residential Low-Moderate Income Projects
    • Up to 60% of net cost, capped at $5,000 and $2,500 for energy storage.
  3. Low-Income Service Providers
    • Low-income service providers: Up to 50% of net cost, capped at $30,000 for solar, and $15,000 for energy storage
To Qualify
  1. Installed on real property in Oregon
  2. Installed by an ODOE-approved contractor
  3. Solar + storage systems must be purchased together by the same approved contractor
  4. Total Solar Resource Fraction of 75% or greater (your contractor will approve this)
Definitions

Residential Low-Moderate Income Projects: The owner of the property is eligible for one or more income-limited programs offered by state or local public agencies or nonprofit organization’s. ODOE will verify eligibility with the administering agencies upon receipt of the application

Low-Income Service Providers. Organizations eligible as “low-income service providers” include:

  1. Developers/owners of affordable multifamily housing that are eligible for public assistance administered by Oregon Housing & Community Services;
  2. A community service organization (public, tribal, or a 501(c) nonprofit) whose primary purpose is to offer health, dental, social, financial, energy conservation, or other assistive services to households below 100% of the state median income by household size;
  3. A tribal or local government entity, such as a city, county, or school district that uses public buildings to provide services to low- or moderate-income individuals, or to provide emergency shelter and/or communications in disaster situations.

Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon provides a cash incentive through qualified trade allies to utility customers of Pacific Power and PGE. There are two separate tracks for Energy Trust incentives.

Cash incentive amount
  1. Standard
    • $0.30/W up to $2,400
  2. Solar Within Reach
    • $1.50/W up to $9,000
To Qualify
  1. Installed by an Energy Trust of Oregon Trade Ally
  2. Total Solar Resource Fraction of 75% or greater
  3. See below for Solar Within Reach eligibility criteria
Definitions

Solar Within Reach: You must own a single-family home, manufactured home, floating home, condo or multifamily residence that is either an attached side-by-side unit or a duplex, triplex or fourplex. You must also meet Energy Trust’s income qualifications listed below.


Federal Tax Credit

Also known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

Tax Credit Amount
  • 26% of the net cost (after ETO and state rebate, if applicable)
To Qualify
  • You must have a federal tax liability
  • System must be installed by December 31st, 2020 (then it drops to 22%)

What does this mean for a low-moderate-income household?

+ Up to $5,000 incentive from state rebate

+ Up to $9,000 cash incentive from Energy Trust of Oregon

$14,000 off a solar installation (+Federal Tax Credit, if applicable)

Oregon’s Biggest Climate Rally of the Year

When: Tuesday, February 11th at 12:00 p.m.
Where: Across from the State Capitol Building in Salem

It’s time to demonstrate overwhelming support for a strong, equitable climate bill that will help Oregon to reduce our carbon emissions as quickly as possible.

Maybe you’ve never been to Salem or experienced a climate rally. Or maybe you’ve been to several and you’re wondering why this one is so important.

There are 29 days left in the 2020 legislative session, and this is a crucial time to participate. This rally will be the biggest climate action day of the year.

If you support a clean energy economy for all, your voice can make a difference. We need your help to pass SB 1530, Oregon’s cap, trade and invest program. There’s not much time left.

  • If you plan to be there, RSVP so that organizers can plan for this event.
  • You can join or create a carpool here. If you scroll down the page a bit, there are several folks planning to drive from Central Oregon. If you’re willing to be a driver, sign up asap so that folks can join you.

 If you’re interested in what we’ve shared so far, but feel a little lost in all this, catch up on some background info here; and join us on Tuesday!! You’ll learn a lot and get connected in ways that are meaningful to you.

Please forward this to students, colleagues, neighbors, friends, and family in Oregon. Share why a climate bill matters to you, and how one day of action can make a big impact on the outcome of this session. Talk about it, post about it. Use your sphere of influence to encourage MORE people to show up and speak out in support of bold climate action in Oregon.

We’ll be in Salem that day, not only because of our roles here at TEC – but also because we’re parents, teachers, outdoor athletes, and community leaders who are responsible for forging a better path towards a sustainable future. We hope you’ll join us, and if you can’t, we hope you’ll email and call your Legislators. (You can look them up here.)

What’s next for our Climate Action Plan?

On December 4th, 2019, Bend joined the ranks of 413 communities across the US and Canada with Climate Action and Sustainability Plans*. This means that our goals to reduce our fossil fuel use 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 are bigger than meets the eye. Cumulatively, these plans cover more than 70 million citizens. With this awesome power of collective action from coast to coast, we will make a difference.

Our Community Climate Action Plan is a set of 20 recommended strategies and 42 related sub-actions. The analysis has been done on these strategies and we can reach our goals, but it is going to take partners and individuals across the community working together to implement the CCAP.

So, what’s next?

  • On February 19th, 2020, the City Council will hear a recommendation from staff on the formation of an Environment and Climate Committee.  This citizen committee will oversee the implementation of the CCAP as well as advise on additional environmental topics. If you are interested in applying, stay tuned!
  • The City will be considering program and funding recommendations for supporting community education and outreach.
  • The City is getting to work on the actions they are leading, including determining pathways for achieving 100% renewable electricity supply goal.
  • We are digging in and looking at how/if our programs can help reach our fossil fuel reduction goals. Even though the Home Energy Score (HES) wasn’t included as a mandatory action in the plan, we are still committed to finding creative new ways to incentivize residential efficiency. This is one of our top priorities this year.

As we move forward, we will continue to call on the power of your collective voices and actions. You helped us get here but the real work is just beginning. We have our work cut out for us so stay tuned as we get to work bringing this plan to life this year!

*Thank you to Zero Energy Project for the work they have done documenting climate plans across the country!

Help Defend Solar Energy: Extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Why?

Solar energy is the most impactful renewable technology we have to invest in local communities and address climate change. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most successful bipartisan clean energy policies ever passed and has helped build a robust solar industry in the United States. It also enjoys overwhelming public support, with 89% of Americans favoring an extension.

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) 2019 Solar ITC Impact Analysis, over the next 10 years, the ITC will bring additional deployment of solar, decrease carbon emissions and increase the number of solar jobs and economic investment.

  • With an ITC extension, annual investment in solar would reach $41 billion by 2030, more than 141% greater than the $17 billion invested in 2018.
  • An ITC extension would offset an additional 363 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over the next 10 years, equivalent to 21% of all emissions from U.S. electricity generation in 2018.
  • By 2030, annual offsets will be equivalent to taking 77 million cars off the road or eliminating the emissions from 93 coal plants.
  • The 82 GW of additional capacity spurred from an ITC extension is enough to power more than 15 million American homes.

When:

We need to take action right now. Despite its success, the ITC is currently scheduled to begin phasing out at the end of 2019, with the first step-down to 26% (tax credit covering project costs) happening in 2020.

What:

Urge your federal representatives to ensure the solar ITC is extended before the end of the year. 

Take action today